In the third instalment of a new ten part blog series, SAP ERP Consultant and Author Isard Haasakker guides us through his tips on how to have a successful career as a freelance IT consultant.
Do you want to learn a very effective strategy to expand your SAP knowledge that is proven and fun and immediately rewarding? At the same time, are you seeking cheap and fast and pragmatic advice to increase your market value. Look no further. Take control of your career and increase your job security.
Many years ago I had a chance encounter with Richard, one of the top project managers available. He made me realise that anyone who says that “it is not their problem” eventually becomes the problem. Also the more pressure you put on a deadline, the clearer the true priorities will become.
As the plane climbed to such a high that we ended up above the clouds, he changed the subject again. He asked me how I could stand out in a meeting before it even started. That is linked to the second “soft skill” rule. Richard hinted that it happens just before the meeting is about to start.
The ‘fasten seatbelt’ sign switched off and Richard excused himself. As he stood up, another curious question was given to me: What is the best strategy to build a trustworthy relationship? Another mind-boggler for me.
As he returned he told me that he is visiting a client to steer the steering committee for a multinational pharmaceutical company. Not long ago he discussed the most vital event in their business. To their surprise, Richard was providing an answer that they did not expect: the payment receipt of a customer invoice. This represented the ideal form of incoming cash flow that would prevent bankruptcy. It is good to have satisfied customers, but far better to have paying customers. On the flip side, you realise that you have to pay your bills on time to have supplier satisfaction. Imagine the impact on customer satisfaction when suppliers love to do business with you. Cash flow might even be more crucial than profitability for long term success.
You need to realise this as well. Imagine the impact on your life when your salary or invoice is not paid on time. Then you understand the most important event to pay your bills on time and in full. Being an employee or consultant with a clear understanding of the importance of healthy cash flow will have a better idea what is best for the company as a whole. This realisation makes you able to connect with entrepreneurs, CEO’s and directors.
So when a process or procedure is not linked to the payment of the customer invoice, then dare to question its necessity and priority. Maybe this task can be delegated or outsourced, even when you could do this task yourself. The freedom to focus on what is triggering incoming cash flow can be liberating for your business.
Richard told me that you can decide to put all your energy in certification, but that only gives you the theoretical knowledge. True learning starts when you get your hands dirty and play through trial and error. Increase your changes in becoming a successful integration consultant by focusing on business processes that have a direct impact on the payment receipt of a customer invoice.
You might realise that your core knowledge might not have a direct link with customer billing. In that case your jump in learning new skills would be quite significant. Then having a strategy becomes even more crucial. Still, indirect links to customer payments will always surface. When they come onto your radar, then give priority to learn these skills. Next hurdle could be that this new skill may not be the most exciting to learn. That is when vision and strategy triggers the need for sacrifice. Sometimes you have to do something you don’t want to get to where you want to be. Then it helps to add a sense of entertainment. Richard has some great ideas how to ignite this fun factor.
Author of the book “Make F.I.T. Your Purpose”.
Introducing the Fast Implementation Track™ for SAP ERP.
Deploy on time, within budget and fit for purpose.
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Watch out for the next instalment from Isard’s blog series, and make sure you don’t miss out on all our latest blogs by subscribing to our mailing list below!
If you’re a freelance IT consultant looking for your next project get in touch.
Previous blogs in this series:
The Secret to IT Freelancer Success Lesson 1: Boost Your Value
The Secret to IT Freelancer Success Lesson 2: Manage Your Time